Do you have to report a car accident?

Do you have to report a car accident?

Getting into a car accident can be a shocking and stressful situation, but by preparing yourself with what to do after a road accident, you can make sure you know the steps to take to keep yourself and other road users safe.

As well as checking for injuries and calling 999 if necessary, you should also be aware of more practical actions, like reporting your accident to the relevant parties.

Do you have to report a car accident?

Stopping after your accident is a legal requirement – regardless of its severity. If you cannot communicate with the other driver, you must stop, provide your information and report the incident to the police. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit and run, which may result in a fine, points on your license or a complete driving ban.

Failing to report an accident also means you’re at risk of someone claiming against you later. If you hit a parked car and leave the scene, for example, it’s important to inform your insurance company promptly – and preferably within 24 hours. Insurers usually have a deadline for reporting accidents, so make sure to review your policy for specific information.

What needs to be reported?

It’s important to remain calm after a road accident, so you can note down everything that needs to be reported to your insurance company or the police, including:

  • The date and time of the incident
  • What happened in the accident
  • The driving conditions like the weather, road quality and lighting
  • The type, colour, make, model and registration of all the vehicles involved in the crash.
  • Damage caused to the vehicles and where
  • Injuries to drivers and passengers
  • Injuries to pedestrians
  • Contact details and personal information of any witnesses

You can use your phone to take photos of the scene, including the vehicles involved and the damage caused. Dash-cam footage can also be used as evidence when reporting a car accident.

Who do I need to call?

After gathering your evidence, you need to report the accident to the relevant parties. Even if you’re not planning to make a claim, you still need to report the incident to your insurer. This is because the other driver may choose to make a claim without your knowledge. Your insurer will also need to reassess your ‘risk’ on your insurance policy, which, unfortunately, will likely go up following an accident.

As well as reporting the accident to your insurance company, you need to report the incident to the police if:

  • Anyone is injured
  • You didn’t swap details with the other driver at the time
  • You think a crime has been committed

You must inform the police about your accident by calling 101, which is the non-emergency police number, within 24 hours of the accident happening.

If you need someone to recover your vehicle after an incident, you might also want to call a professional vehicle recovery company, like Cambridge Car Solutions. With a reliable fleet of recovery vehicles and a team of experienced mechanics, we can recover vehicles from both on-road and off-road locations, even those stuck in ditches. Our 24-hour accident recovery service also means we’re on hand to recover your vehicle as quickly as possible – whatever time of the day or night.

Proud owner of Cambridge Car Solutions, a family run business offering both Vehicle Recycling & 24/7 Breakdown Recovery.